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Soursop (Annona muricata) may have a funny name, but it has amazing health benefits! This tropical fruit is also known as graviola or guanabana. The outside has a spiny, green texture and the tangy sweet flesh is used in beverages, candy, and ice cream in Central and South American cuisine.
Soursop is abundant in folate, niacin, thiamin, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. This tasty fruit is used in holistic medicine to treat an upset stomach, coughs, asthmatic symptoms, skin conditions, gout, fever and as a mild, natural sedative.
Soursop is naturally…
Can Soursop Prevent Cancer?
Until recently, most of the analyses on the antioxidant rich soursop have scrutinized the roots, leaves, and seeds. According to the reports of current research, the humble, fresh fruit of the soursop has risen to a new level of importance; it has anti-cancer benefits!
In a South Korean study, Graviola was shown to be up to 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy at stopping the spread of cancerous cells. Another study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, found that soursop can even be effective against tumors that are resistant to chemotherapy or other drug combinations.
It is also known as custard apple, guyabano, or paw paw and has tons of vitamin C. It is high in antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, and phosphorous. Soursop is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, which is invaluable to the body’s healing processes. Additionally, it demonstrates anti-cancer properties. In a 2015 study published in Universa Medicina, the leaves, fruit, and seeds of this plant were shown to inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells.
A 2010 study found that extracts from the fruit demonstrate antiangiogenic properties. Angiogenisis is the process of developing new blood vessels, which cancerous tumors use to grow.
Scientists with the Tepic Institute of Technology (Instituto Tecnológico de Tepic – ITT) in Mexico discovered acetogenins, a compound in the fruit with incredible chemotherapeutic properties.
The researchers with ITT are studying soursop in an effort to find more anti-cancer foods that are readily available in Mexico due to the steadily rising cases of cancer among their population.
Team leader, Montalvo González, explained,
The research seeks to add value to the fruit so the least of it is wasted. We focus on acetogenins compounds because in Mexico, cancer is a disease that is increasing among the population and scientific research shows that the compounds found in this fruit can encapsulate tumors, but this depends on the amount consumed.”
In other words, they are searching for foods that prevent cancer and taste good so more people will eat them. Unprocessed soursop pulp can be frozen up to a year without deterioration in the acetogenin content.
Ice cream produced from the pulp showed the same high concentrations of acetogenins, but ITT researchers need to determine at what point anti-cancer properties are compromised during the manufacturing process of mass food products and the addition of sugar.
They hope to stimulate the production of juice, ice cream, yogurt, and other foods that the local people will enjoy while they (perhaps unknowingly) prevent or fight the growth of cancer cells.
Using soursop to prevent cancer by including it in staple foods is both innovative and beneficial to the health of the people and the economy of Mexico.
This fruit is not new. In fact, a 1997 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry found that soursop was more than 200 times as effective as chemotherapy when tested on breast cancer cells!
Serving Suggestions for Soursop
Most of the recipes that include soursop are in the form of teas and soups. Here is a traditional Caribbean preparation of soursop.
Chilled Soursop Drink
- 1 ripe soursop (guanabana) or 14 ounces frozen soursop pulp
- Optional: 1 can sweetened condensed milk (traditionally sweetened this way, omit and sweeten with coconut sugar or honey to taste)
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups water
- Peel soursop by hand; put flesh in large mixing bowl, and remove all seeds. If using frozen soursop pulp then add to blender.
- Put fruit into blender, add 2 cups of water, and puree
- Strain fruit fibers if you prefer it without pulp
- Add remaining water, sweetened condensed milk (or coconut sugar), nutmeg, lime juice, and vanilla
- Blend until smooth
Serves two, chilled with or without ice. The result is delicious, healthy, and refreshing.
Why Haven’t You Heard of Soursop to Prevent Cancer?
As always seems to be the case, cancer organizations briefly discuss natural remedies and then dismiss the evidence as “inconclusive,” or state that the study was “too small.”
When incredible discoveries are made about natural remedies, it is a bit strange that multiple universities and cancer research centers do not immediately launch larger studies.
Patients suffering with end-stage cancer would likely appreciate the opportunity to be included in a trial to fight their cancer naturally if their toxic chemical treatment has failed. Getting the information to the world about natural cancer therapy alternatives is important!
Clearly, pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers and cancer organizations aren’t going to step up and tell you what scientists all over the world are finding in foods provided by nature.
Did you know cancer has natural predators?
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no need to strain the sour sop when pulped. No need for condensed milk either. a small amount of lime juice with some sweet orange juice is enough. for health benefits we omit the artificial sweeteners in the Caribbean.
Arabela N Janairo says
Is there a store that sells soursop such as greens, fruits powder. In the States it’s difficult to find this fruit, it is abundant in Asia and if you order real fruit it cost a lot of money. Is there other ways you can get it, like made of tea such as Moringa. Any info you can give will be greatly appreciated. I have been fighting esophageal cancer, I have gone 1 round of treatment but it came back. Right now I am getting Cryo Theraphy which freezes the tumor to slow down the growth. I am not on any treatment, I have decided to stick with the Cryo Theraphy. Thank you for your time.
You can use the leaves to make a tea. I order the leaves from a company in Florida. Website is freshgraviola.com. There was a report done by NIH. I actually downloaded the report and keep it on my computer. The report states that soursop leaves have been shown to kill cancer cells. They state that a clinical trial was never done due to lack of money.
Rose Gunn says
My sister-in-Law has pancreatic cancer. I am very interested in finding this sour sap
(as you can imagine). Please let me know where I might purchase this . Thanks very much…
Try a Mexican grocery store, or maybe an Asian market, or even Amazon.
Amazon carries the dry leaves, the extract and powder!
Rita Bruce says
I read on web MD that soursop is not good for people with heart issues, is this true? I have someone that might be dealing with cancer, but also have heart issues. I was telling them about this, but they are afraid use soursop.
Howard Hobbs says
Aloha!! My neighbor got a checkup, first time in years. The blood test included a PSA test for prostate cancer. He’s in his 60’s. The doctors had never seen, or even heard of, such a ridiculously high PSA test number. It’s unheard of! Unbelievable!! Like, 10 or 20 times higher than anything they’d seen before. So, neighbors gave his wife dried soursop leaves. She made tea with them for him, every day. When he went back for another PSA test 3 months later, the docs were again absolutely amazed! His PSA # was lower than fellas in their 20’s. Lower than dudes in their teens, even! His prostate was as young & healthy as a boy’s!! Around here people eat the fruit a lot, but for cancer cure or prevention they make a tea from the leaves. I like the taste. I drink it. I had diarrhea for 8 or 10 months, & my Dr. did tests. She wanted me to get more tests, as she definitely thought I had colon cancer. Oooky! Creepy! Rather than go into the hospital for tests, I drank soursop tea. I’m fine now. Healthy as can be, at 73. Again, ALOHA!!!!
Cassandra Wilburn says
Thanks for the info. My husband and I drink Soursop tea everyday now with the leaves. We love it and just mix it with honey. Glad you are doing well and we hope to prevent anything lurking around. Soursop is the best!
Hello, my son-in-law also has cancer of the esophagus. He is doing many things to battle this but I would like more info on this sour sap. By any chance does it come in a supplement? We live in New Jersey where would I buy it if there is not a supplement to purchase?
Go to an Asian or Mexican market and you can usually find the fruit fresh, around February-April and frozen on other months. .. I believe they are also. Cousin to the Chirimoyo.
Harry Ameen says
It comes in powder, capsule or liquid.
A quick search on the web, turned up quite a few options for soursap. Accordingly,
it seems it should not be too hard to come by.
Yes i have seen the dry leaves at Mexican stores too. i will start buying them and drink a cup of tea every day to prevent. I heard about this years ago but wasn’t sure it was proven. Amazon carries the leaves, the extract and in liquid.
If you’re dealing with cancer and want to make this drink I would suggest omitting the sugar – omit it anyway, regardless. And if you are dealing with high oxalates, please do not use any nutmeg which is sky high in oxalates.